Inspiring the Next Generation of Women Business Leaders

Women entrepreneurs from across Georgia gathered for an empowering forum supported by Sweden, UNDP, and the Bank of Georgia

June 18, 2024
Women Entrepreneurs' Development Programme
Photo: UNDP/Nino Zedginidze

Economic disparities shadow Georgia’s progress towards meaningful gender equality and are particularly evident in the underrepresentation of women in entrepreneurial and economic activities. Women own only one-third of economically active enterprises and hold just 16.5 percent of top management positions in private companies (UN Women/ILO, 2023). Women comprise less than 25 percent of new enterprise owners and account for only 33.9 percent of Georgia's formal economic participation (GEOSTAT, 2022).

In response to these challenges, UNDP and the Bank of Georgia (BOG), with support from Sweden, are actively working to level the business playing field in Georgia, empowering women entrepreneurs and providing them with the tools and resources to thrive in the business landscape.

On 18 June, more than 150 women entrepreneurs from twelve regions of Georgia gathered in Tbilisi for an inspiring forum. In a dynamic exchange of experiences and aspirations, women from diverse backgrounds shared their journeys of empowerment and business success. The event spotlighted the resilience and determination of Georgian women to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

Participants, representing seven cohorts of the UNDP/BOG Women Entrepreneurs' Development Programme, highlighted the impact of comprehensive training and mentorship in fostering new ventures and advancing existing businesses. The showcased success stories spanned multiple sectors, including tourism and hospitality, agriculture, textile, food and beverage, education, technology, and e-commerce, inspiring the audience to strive for more against the odds.

Invited speakers and panellists Included:
  • Nino Zambakhidze, Georgian Farmers' Association
  • Ketevan Vachiberidze, 'Storera' (formerly B2C.GE)
  • Natia Ninikelashvili,, Online Farmers' Marketplace
  • Nana Dikhaminjia, Digital Transformation Center, Alte University
  • Musya Qeburia, ‘Musya's Work·Shop’ Art Shop
  • Veriko Bazali, ‘Hippo Velo’, Bicycle Service Shop
  • Natia Kakhidze, Woodhide Hotel
  • Tatia Khaindrava, 'Wowchy' Gift Voucher Platform
  • Ia Imerlishvili, 'Ia's Winery' Wine Production
  • Tea Edisherashvili, 'Chocoholic' Artisan Sweets
  • Tatia Khaindrava, 'Wowchy' Gift Voucher Platform
  • Ia Imerlishvili, 'Ia's Winery' Wine Production
  • Tea Edisherashvili, 'Chocoholic' Artisan Sweets
"Women have the knowledge and the will to start and run business. Economic empowerment serves as the crucial catalyst for women to secure financial independence and carve out their rightful role in society,"
Erik Illes, Head of Development Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy in Georgia
"Empowering women economically is a strategic investment in a prosperous and equitable future. At UNDP, we are proud that our support encourages talented and motivated women entrepreneurs and inspires new business ventures, fostering gender-inclusive growth and sustainable development,”
Anna Chernyshova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Georgia
"The Bank of Georgia considers women’s empowerment among our key priorities. We aim to establish partnership networks that foster an equitable and inclusive economic environment. Networking and experience-sharing is a great motivation for new women entrepreneurs to enhance their business ventures. We wish every success to the forum participants and encourage them to implement new business projects, adding additional value to their enterprises. Together with our partner organizations, we will continue implementing projects that help businesses move forward."
Rusudan Baratashvili, Director of SME Value Added Services Development Department at the Bank of Georgia
Women Entrepreneurs' Development Programme: 

The Women Entrepreneurs' Development Programme empowers women business leaders and fosters opportunities for women-led business ventures across Georgia. Through tailored business development support, the programme equips women with the strategies and skills needed to achieve their entrepreneurial goals. The programme is supported by UNDP, the Bank of Georgia, and Sweden under the Sweden-funded UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality.

UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality: 

The Sweden-funded UN Joint Programme for Gender Equality is a flagship initiative advancing gender equality in Georgia across social, economic, and policy domains. Implemented by UNDP, UNFPA, and UN Women, the programme strives to assist Georgia in building an inclusive and equitable society.

Bank of Georgia: 

Bank of Georgia is a leading commercial bank in Georgia, offering a wide range of banking services to corporate and retail clients. With a significant market share, the bank is committed to supporting economic growth and fostering inclusive prosperity.

Media Contacts: